Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University
This Month @ Moritz

"Money and Politics" Topic of Free CLE for Alumni on September 15

"Money and Politics: New Rules and New Practices" will be the topic of a 1.5 hr program approved for CLE credit by the Supreme Court of Ohio. It will be held in the Saxbe Auditorium of the Moritz College of Law at noon on Wednesday, September 15. It is free to alumni of the College and their guests.

Bradley A. Smith, Federal Elections Commission chairman will analyze recent reforms impacting this year's election. Moritz Professor Ned Foley will discuss campaign finance and Moritz Professor Donald Tobin will assess IRS Regulation of 501(c)(3) campaign activity. The CLE is offered through the Election Law @ Moritz project. Attendees are asked to RSVP by September 13 to lombardi.2@osu.edu or (614) 292-8809.

Because this year's presidential election is likely to be the most fiercely fought in memory, it not surprisingly has attracted the most money in history. As of May 31, President Bush had raised a record-smashing $215 million, while Senator Kerry was in hot pursuit, with a total of $180 million by the end of June, including $34 million raised in June alone. But the candidates' own campaign treasuries are only a part of the picture. The big news this year has been the rise of independent advocacy organizations intent on either defeating or promoting President Bush's bid for reelection.

Because spending by both the political parties and the new independent advocacy groups will play such a prominent role in the 2004 presidential race, a crucial question is whether this spending is being coordinated with either candidate. Under longstanding principles of federal campaign finance law, whenever spending by any person or group other than the candidate is undertaken in coordination with the candidate, then that spending counts as a contribution to the candidate. As such, this spending is subject to contribution limits that do not apply to spending that is truly independent of the candidate's own campaign activities.